Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Walkabout

It was a beautiful morning here in North Texas, with the promise that temps would be in the 90s by about 11am. I was not of a mind to work the horses in the round pen, so I decided to take Jazu down the road. Jaz is always a good boy, but even his patience was tried by the audacity of the flies. Although I sprayed him really well before we left, they were giving him fits. At one point, I thought for sure he was going to rear. I could feel him flinching and trying to hold himself back. They were brutal!

Here are some pix.

Poco, of course, threw a hissy fit when we left. Here he is as we returned. Can you see the Appytude?
I was tired and hot, but I still wanted to give Pokey a go. I saddled him up and rather than the Bitless Bridle (Dr. Cook's), I used a moderate snaffle for a little more stopping power. We did a few turns around the front, and he was pretty good. So I got brave and took him out the front gate. At first, I rode him on the property next to ours, which is undeveloped. Still did pretty well, responded very well to leg cues; resisted a little, but easily corrected. So we headed down the road. He was a little excitable, but totally under control. He didn't like it when we got to the place with the 3 Labs that carry on when you go past, and he balked. I turned him around and asked nicely for him to move out, but he planted himself and started to back up. I asked again with more leg and a cluck, he still wouldn't do it. I calmly and ever-so-slightly tapped him on the butt with the crop and he totally overreacted -- you'd have sworn I really whacked him -- and did a little hop. I stayed calm, waited a sec for him to relax, then asked again for the walk and got it. I pushed him way out of his comfort zone and wouldn't turn around until he wasn't resisting me. On the way back, I asked for a trot, then for a few wonderful seconds, we were actually loping, which was very cool. Although you can't see it in the pix, most of those grassy areas along the sides of the road are chock full of flat rocks, so the footing is not as sure as it seems at first glance. My horses are not shod, so there are only a few places I'm comfortable asking for anything other than a walk for more than a couple strides.

I have to keep both hands on the wheel, so to speak, when riding Poco, so no on-board pix. Here's my little tank, minus headstall, prior to being tacked down, just about to yawn. Note the tongue and the rock star mane. It must have been a somewhat positive experience for him, because when I untied him, he lingered with me for quite awhile.
It was a lovely day to attend the Heavenly Church of the Divine Walkabout.

PS - Forgot to mention that Poco actually lifted all four feet for me to pick and didn't try to lean on me as he was doing it! This is huge, and the best he's ever done. He picks his feet up, but even Jon the farrier has to work so Poco doesn't lean on him.

10 comments:

manymisadventures said...

Woohoo! Progress, progress.

You're doing a great job of thinking through what you're doing with Poco.

Adventures Of A Horse Crazed Mind said...

Love the rockstar mane! lol...looks like my boys right now. I also love the "devine walkabout". My boyfriend always laughs when I say that I am going for a walkabout! I watched Crocodile Dundee one to many times as a child.

Your ride on Poco sounded like my ride down the road last night. To watch us go you would never guess that he was actually weaving back and forth under me!

Leah Fry said...

I'm surprised nobody commented at how far forward the cinch/girth is. I had loosened it as soon as we were inside the gate and decided I was going to walk him the rest of the way to the house. In the photo, it has slipped forward a hand's width.

The best part of this ride was that Mr. Fry had breakfast ready for me when I got back. Well, it was ALMOST the best part.

Pony Girl said...

Poco is so cute! ;) Love the "Appytude." You were a good horse mommy to get them both out for a ride despite the heat.
You left a comment about the nose to the trail thing. If you send me an email, I will write you a response and try to explain how to do it.

Stephanie said...

Was wondering...do you lunge your horses before you ride?

I can be beneficial even with older broke horses. Like athletes running a couple of laps around the bases before they even get started with the game. Takes the edge off so they can think clearly, warms muscles up - all kinds of good things...

BTW - Love the fencing in your pictures, should be a model of "safe horse fencing" I should use that pic to show all my neighbors what safe horse fencing looks like because they clearly have no clue...

Stephanie said...

It can be beneficial - not "I" sorry...

Leah Fry said...

Stephanie, although I know the principles of how to longe, I was not very successful the first time I tried it without my friend Nita being here. It went so badly with Poco, I don't want to do it again until I'm sure I know what I'm doing. He gets really upset when he's confused. No, I mean REALLY upset when he's confused, almost terrified. Past life, I guess. The last thing I want to do is scare him. The good news is, the horses will be going to Heather & Nita's maybe as soon as this weekend while we seed & feed our pasture. They have a 110 ft RP and an arena, so I know I'll have the benefit of expert help.

Pony Girl, I'll email you about the nose/tail thing. And yes, I'm a complete sap for my Pokey Pony. It brings tears to my eyes, I love that horse so much.

Adventures Of A Horse Crazed Mind said...

Is that a Pards Western Shop saddle pad you have on Poco?

Leah Fry said...

Diamond Wool pad. I chose it because Jaz was a hard keeper prior to coming here and was much thinner than he is now. I think he gained the 150-200 lbs. I took off Poco! Since my saddle is a cheap one, I started using it on Poco too, for his comfort. Needs to be cleaned, big time.

Saddle Mountain Rider said...

I just found your blog. Love your post on riding down the road. I can just picture you working with Poco through his balk - good job! Fun blog - i'll be back.

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